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Governor Cuomo Vetoes Bereavement Leave Legislation in New York

In August, we notified our clients that the New York State Legislature had proposed an amendment to the Workers’ Compensation Law that would allow employees to take up to 12 weeks of Paid Family Leave for bereavement after the death of a family member — a spouse, domestic partner, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, or in-law.

The paid bereavement leave benefit was scheduled to begin in 2020 if signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Shortly before the start of 2019, however, Governor Cuomo vetoed the bereavement leave bill, along with several other bills. Governor Cuomo said the bereavement bill, as drafted, raised many concerns. Over the summer, many small business organizations, including the Business Council of New York State, expressed concern as to how the bill was written and called upon the governor to veto the bill.

We anticipate that the New York State Legislature and Governor Cuomo may revisit this topic in 2019. A different version of the bill may be introduced that addresses some of the concerns raised by the governor.

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